NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 28th (All times eastern)
Boston Celtics (12-14) at Dallas Mavericks (18-10), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks take aim at their fourth win in five games tonight, when they battle the stingy Boston Celtics at American Airlines Center.
Dallas has won eight of 12 games in December, including a 102-88 victory over Denver at the Pepsi Center on Sunday night. Dirk Nowitzki poured in 36 points and pulled down eight rebounds to pace the Mavericks to the win.
Michael Finley collected 20 points and eight boards for Dallas, which has won eight of its last 12 contests. Erick Dampier chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks.
Marquis Daniels had 12 points and Jason Terry added 11 for the Mavericks in the win. DAniels suffered a sprained left ankle in the tilt and is listed as questionable for this evening's game.
Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse sat out his fourth straight game due to a sore right hand. Stackhouse will be a game-time decision.
The Mavs look to improve on their disappointing 8-6 home record as they begin a five-game homestand this evening. Last season, Dallas registered a 36-5 mark in the friendly confines of AmericanAirlines Center.
Boston enters this contest with two losses in its last three games, including a 107-90 loss to San Antonio on Sunday. Ricky Davis paced Boston with 21 points. Davis has scored in double-digits in seven straight games. He is averaging 17.7 points in that span.
Paul Pierce had 16 points for the Celtics, who have lost 14 straight at San Antonio. Gary Payton, Jiri Welsch and Raef LaFrentz each had 10 points in the loss for the Celtics.
The Celtics fell to the Spurs despite shooting 48 percent thanks to 16 turnovers and hitting just 12-of-19 from the free throw line. Boston was also outrebounded, 40-32, in the losing effort.
Boston, which is in the middle of a three-game road trip, has tallied a 5-9 mark in foreign buildings this season.
Celtics center/forward Raef LaFrentz will face his former team this evening. LaFrentz was dealt to Boston along with Jiri Welsch and a few draft picks from Dallas for Antoine Walker and Tony Delk prior to last season. Dallas has since traded Walker and Delk to Atlanta for Jason Terry, Alan Henderson and a first round pick.
These teams split a pair of meetings last season with the home team winning both contests. Dallas has won seven of eight and nine of the last 11 meetings overall in this series. Boston has dropped eight of its last nine trips to Dallas.
12/28 10:18:58 ET